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Press Release 12-20-2021

Davis Automotive Group / BMW Cleveland to Pay $390,000 to Settle EEOC Age Discrimination Suit

Car Dealer Terminated and Failed to Rehire Older Workers, Federal Agency Charged

CLEVELAND – Davis Automotive Group, Inc., doing business as BMW Cleveland, an automobile dealership located in Solon, Ohio, will pay $390,000 and furnish significant equitable relief to settle an age discrimination lawsuit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the federal agency announced today.  The EEOC said the company violated federal law by intentionally subjecting three older workers to age discrimination.

According to EEOC’s lawsuit, the company refused to hire a former employee because of her age (52) and terminated two sales employees because of their ages (67 and 70). Such alleged conduct violates the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 (ADEA), which prohibits discrimination in employment against people who are age 40 or older.  

The EEOC filed suit (EEOC v. Davis Automotive Group, Inc. t/a BMW Cleveland, Case No. 1:19-cv-02257) in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio, after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement through its administrative conciliation process.

In addition to requiring payment of $390,000 in monetary relief to the three victims of BMW Cleveland’s discrimination, the two-year consent decree resolving the lawsuit enjoins BMW Cleveland from future discrimination against employees on the basis of age, and from retaliating against any person for asserting their rights under the decree, filing a charge of discrimination with EEOC, opposing unlawful age discrimination, or participating in an investigation, proceeding, or hearing under the ADEA.  The company must maintain a policy prohibiting discrimination and retaliation and a complaint procedure designed to encourage employees to come forward with complaints of discrimination or retaliation.  It also must designate an equal employment opportunity officer to ensure its compliance with the decree and to investigate and respond to complaints of potential discrimination and harassment.  The decree also requires annual training on discrimination and retaliation for all employees, including supervisors, management, and human resources personnel.  In addition, the company periodically must provide information to EEOC about all hiring and termination decisions and any complaints of discrimination or retaliation and the company’s responses.  The company also must post a notice about the settlement in conspicuous locations where employee notices are customarily posted.

“This settlement provides an important reminder to employers: from beginning to end, employment decisions should be based on ability, not based on age,” said EEOC Philadelphia District Director Jamie R. Williamson.

Philadelphia District Office Regional Attorney Debra Lawrence added, “We are pleased that this settlement provides significant compensation to the three former BMW Cleveland employees for the harm they suffered and will protect other applicants and employees from similar discrimination because of their age.”

More information about age discrimination can be found at  

The EEOC Philadelphia District Office has jurisdiction over Pennsylvania, Maryland, Delaware, West Virginia, and parts of New Jersey and Ohio. The legal staff of the Philadelphia District Office of the EEOC also prosecutes discrimination cases in Washington, D.C. and parts of Virginia.

The EEOC advances opportunity in the workplace by enforcing federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination. More information is available at Stay connected with the latest EEOC news by subscribing to our email updates.